Do you remember the day you finally considered yourself a ‘real runner’? If so, you’ll likely relate to Kate Smith’s story about how she came to love the sport. The truth is, anyone who runs is a ‘real runner’ – there are no distance or speed requirements.
Read on to learn more about Kate’s journey and how incorporating cross training into her routine has helped keep her healthy and ready to race!
Years running: 3 years
Favorite workout: The long run. It’s my time for peace & quiet and to be in my own head.
Favorite distance to race: My initial answer is Half Marathon, but I recently ran an unplanned 5k and it was fun to really push my speed since I knew it was going to be a quick one.
Favorite song to get pumped up pre-race: Ooooo, I don’t have one in particular. But I admittedly have an awful “pop”-filled playlist (like Britney Spears, LMFAO and Ke$ha), stuff that embarrasses my husband when I request it… but the upbeat fast tempos keeps me going!
Favorite post-race treat: Beer! This year’s South Shore Half had a cider option that I may have gotten way too excited about.
Must-have gear: A week ago I would’ve said my Motorola Motoactv gps/hr monitor/mp3 player all-in-one…and then I found it got knocked into a bowl of water in my sink, (I tried the rice trick to no avail). So now I’m looking for other options. Suggestions welcome!
How did you get started with running?
My youngest had just turned one and I found myself at my highest weight and just not satisfied with myself. I had a friend who wanted to do the inaugural Dirty Girl 2011, so I signed up with her to give me a goal to work towards. To be honest, I didn’t do much running to train for it. Although my brother & sister are runners, I just didn’t see myself that way or think I could do it. It took me about six weeks of making myself get out there before I started craving my run time. It took me longer to really consider myself a “runner” – I considered that a title for people who were fast; who were going the distance; who have been doing it forever. I just thought of myself as “someone who runs”. And then one day there was a shift in my thinking: I run therefore I am.
Do you have a quote or philosophy that inspires your running?
Strength doesn’t come from what you CAN do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you COULDN’T.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
I strive to maintain balance in my life, so I subscribe to three run days a week (intervals, moderate & long run) and two cross-training days. Anything more than that and my very supportive husband starts wondering when I’m coming home.
What’s motivated you to keep running?
My kids. I want to model a healthy lifestyle for them. I want them to understand what it means to have patience, to put in the (training) time, to not expect results overnight but make the commitment to a desired outcome. I have a daughter and I want her to see a woman’s body as a strong, healthy vehicle that can carry her anywhere. The first step in helping them believe that is by seeing it firsthand. I hope I’m doing that for them.
Can you tell us a bit about the programs you’ve done through Wild Workouts?
I started at Wild Workouts as a client. I did a 30-day challenge when I found myself at a weight plateau that I wanted to break through. With the added nutrition component they provided, it was like hitting a reset button on my body and my metabolism. I really connected with their philosophy so I became a boot camp client. Then I started with the Run Wild interval program and saw significant improvement with my running results; I cross-trained with the Cycling & Strength program over the winter; I also prepared for my first half-marathon with Wild’s training program. I am privileged that I am now in the position where I can help others attain their fitness goals by being a Wild client turned Wild coach.
How has Wild Workouts helped your running?
The Run Wild interval program is amazing. As someone who was new to running I would never have started speed interval workouts on my own. I was nervous going into it, but there are runners of varying levels and it’s such a supportive and encouraging environment. I saw my minute-per-mile pace decrease and my stamina increase. Intervals are something I will do on my own now, but I much prefer to do them with the Run Wild group…I have way more fun with it. I also attribute the cross-training I get from Wild Workouts’ boot camp as what has kept me relatively injury free.
Where are your favorite places to run in Milwaukee?
I live in Bay View so I tend to gravitate toward the Oak Leaf Trail from South Shore Park heading south. I never get tired of the Milwaukee skyline & Lake Michigan views.
What are your favorite Milwaukee races?
My go-to races are one’s hosted by the Badgerland Striders. I like that they are local, low-cost and races organized by runners.
What are your running goals for the upcoming year?
I am currently training for my first marathon, the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. I’m raising donations for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness by representing Team Boomer. My niece was diagnosed with CF and I immediately knew that I wanted to fundraise through running, which is in line with Team Boomer’s mission. Please read more about her story and consider donating at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/josiesmith/milwaukeelakefrontmarathon
Thanks for chatting with us, Kate! If you’re a runner in MKE, we’d love to hear your story. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be featured or know someone who should be featured in an upcoming Let’s Get to Know . . . post.
Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!